Just keep printing
In the great irony of life, I've rewritten the intro to this email about eleventy million times. I know the middle bit, and how it ends, I just keep getting stuck on the beginning. Now, this is ironic, because what I want to tell you about is how, in the studio, I love to just get started. I love to futz with physical things that I can see and touch. This very thing that's happening to me right now is exactly the reason why I love print. Print is real. You can hold it, touch it, and smell it.
When I teach letterpress workshops, one of the first things that I have people do in the studio is write down on paper their ideas. They can have as much scrap paper as they like. (And this is a great reason to have scrap paper. It's not precious, so you can write a lot without worrying about whether your ideas deserve a fresh sheet of paper. Have you ever grabbed an envelope out of the recycle bin instead of your notebook? Yup, me too.) Then we line up all the sheets of paper and choose one to start with. It's not a final commitment, it's just the place to start.
So, let's get started, shall we? This year, for my niece's birthday, I bought her a motivational speech from one of my favourite internet people, Tania Katan. I tell ya, it's so darn good, it made me cry. Tania sent a worksheet to fill in (I fobbed it off on my sister) and Tania converted it into three minutes of perfection. It is filled with the sweetest affirmations and assurances that are completely relevant to my niece. ("Let someone else make the cupcakes." 😭)
Here's the thing. My niece is good at making cupcakes because she's baked a lot of them. I, on the other hand, am not. Sarah loves to bake, so she kept baking, and now she's good at it. I, on the other hand, was only interested in the perfect cupcake. I wasn't interested in the practice. As a result... well... see above.
What does this have to do with letterpress? Everything. When it comes to printing, I love the process. As a result of loving the process, I print a lot. A lot, a lot. As a result, I've gone from cupcake levels of proficiency, to, well, Sarah's level of cupcakes. Except in print.
This is what people learn when they come to the studio: they learn to love the process. Of course, they're getting a little guidance, so the results are good too. But the most important thing people come away with is the pride in having engaged in the process to make something that is truly their own. They leave motivated to do more creative stuff--even if it's simple things like writing more letters, or starting a sketchbook. After taking our workshops, people get out of their head and start doing.
If this sounds like your kind of cupcake, I would love to see you in the studio for one of our workshops.
If you've got any hesitations or questions about the workshops, please get in touch. Printing is genuinely one of the most-fun crafts, ever. It's a delicious mix of high precision, and antique machines. You don't need to be an artist to be good at it, and we promise you'll enjoy the process.